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Wednesday, 23 April 2014

WordPress Daily Prompt: The Wanderer

Tell us about the top five places you’ve always wanted to visit. GO!



Birds in flight


I never really always wanted to visit anywhere. If the journey is booked and paid for, then I am with you, who cares where. I no longer wander, I take it easy, mainly with a plane, perhaps a train and just walking the little bit to the beach, a museum or the hotel (after leaving the taxi).

I was having a look at the world and the newspaper and discovered that nowhere is safe, too many riots, wars and disagreements. I then found an interesting holiday in Transylvania, you know the birthplace of Vlad Tepes, the Impaler, who was Price of Wallachia, belonging to the house of Draculesti – need I say more? Anyhow, being that this Vlad person really existed he must have left a few handy graves behind him bearing some vampire descendants. So where is Transylvania? It seems to be mainly in Romania, bordered on the East and South by the Carpathian mountains. Sounds quite a nice place, you can go mountain climbing, visit the quaint little villages where all the doors are garnished with garlic for some reason or another, and of course visit the local churches, although all this during the day. It seems in the evening it is not such a hospitable place to be, and there are reports that there is quite a bit of action in the graveyards. The sounds of fingers tearing at the covering layer of earth, the flapping of wings which are actually black cloaked vampires taking a night flight. Excitement is guaranteed, and you might even be transported into another world (never to return).

If you really want to experience the true flavour of Transylvannia, something completely different, then you should reserve the night for your visit. You might be lucky and see the boss himself, who is always there, never dies. I am sure he would be only be too happy to take you on a visit of the family tombs. It seems if you choose the right evening, usually by full moon, there is quite a party going on. The blood is flowing in gallons and you will be warmly invited to partake, although it is recommended to take out an insurance for any unexpected accidents that might occur.

Accommodation is included in the price. There two sorts of coffin. The most expensive are those padded with velvet and silk with a lock you can open yourself from the inside with its own burlal crypt. These are generally recommended as they are risk free and it is guaranteed that you awake in the evening. Yes the days are a little different on this holiday experience. Daylight sleeping is recommended, to enable the full enjoyment of the nocturnal festivities.

For the backpackers, there is a cheaper version. A plain wooden coffin, closed by nails when you are ready to sleep, but do not worry. For emergencies there is a stake and hammer nearby in the case that one of the local vampires might be hungry. There are even instructions for usage of the stake. Place the stake over the vampire’s heart and hit with the hammer. This ensures the disintegration of the vampire, although I would add this must be done just before dusk. Once the night is upon you, I am afraid your chances are almost nil.

I would add this is not the sort of holiday for taking photographs. Vampires have no reflection in mirrors and they are even invisible to the camera lens, although it seems there are plenty of wolves in the area, if you are a fan of nature photos.

I am sure if when you return from this holiday you will be the envy of all your friends and neighbours. I have heard rumours that many, especially those who took the backpacker choice, experience a certain allergy to day light afterwards, and tend to wander the streets at night searching for human company.

Some visitors to this wonderful, unforgettable region never return. There is something that holds them in the area, the atmosphere perhaps, the food, or just the companionship of the inhabitants.

Who needs five places, if you visit Transylvania, just one place is sufficient. It will never let you go, and the memory will remain for the rest of your undead life.


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Tuesday, 22 April 2014

WordPress Daily Prompt: Showdown at Big Sky

How do you handle conflict? Boldly and directly? Or, do you prefer a more subtle approach.



Plane and Crow


Me, in a conflict situation, no never, well almost: I am the soul of calm, never attack, just turn the other cheek and spread love and understanding all over the place.

Of course, no-one is perfect and there were times when things got a little out of hand, but I was in the lucky situation of growing up in a mean part of town, Bethnal Green the downtown East End of London. We were, of course, all lovely people, well brought up and treated everyone with respect. If it happened that you were insulted, or trouble was caused, then you could always call on someone to help. We had a family living near bye, the Krays. Mr. and Mrs. Kray had three sons, three lovely boys. There were twins, Reggie and Ronnie, and the older brother Charlie. They would always come to help if you beckoned. You just had to make it worth their while financially. Unfortunately the twins died in prison, whilst serving their sentences for murder. The older brother, Charlie, was released from prison, but unfortunately he has some bother with a cocaine smuggle. He also passed away in his prison cell.

Times pass and with age you become mellow. Luckily my hearing is no longer as good as it was, and this is always a good solution to maintain peace. What you do not hear does not bother you. I noticed that people can get very upset if they have a car accident. Reflecting on my first accident, with my sweet little Fiat 127, I was astonished to see the action that occurred. There was a car at the front of the row that stopped, the van behind the car did not stop and drove into the car at the front. Unfortunately he bounced away and I was left with the view of a damaged back part of the car at the front. This all happened so fast and furious, that I just did not have time to put my foot on the break. Luckily I was not injured, just the front of my little Fiat 127.

What happened afterwards was astonishing, for my naïve brain (it was my first car accident, I had no practice). First of all a young lady appeared who had watched the action from her office window. She worked for an insurance company, her first question being “Is anyone insured with ….., as I work there.” She seemed to be disappointed when no-one belonged to her organisation. The next action was the driver in the front car, that produced a camera and took a few photos. Afterwards we all got to know each other, exchanging telephone numbers, names and addresses. It was so exciting, and some voices were raised. Suddenly I was asked if I was feeling OK, as it seems I was the example of perfection, I said no word, I believe people were worried because I was so quiet. When we were all finished with the social side of things I drove off to my garage, which was just next door to where I lived. I did have problems with a clear view of the road as the bonnet of my car was partially obstructing the view from the front window, I also think there was a small trial of liquid marking my path, but it was not petrol/gas, just anti-freeze as it was blue in colour. Eventually everything was under control and I believe I even bought a new car afterwards, mine no longer being worth a repair job. You see, these things happen, and there is no point in getting worked up about it.

My next car accident was much nicer. The driver behind my car did not break quick enough and bumped into my car. We both remained calm (I knew it was not my fault) and exchanged telephone numbers and names. We left with a handshake, everything under control. It is amazing the people you meet under such circumstances.

Otherwise I am a cool type, never get worked up. After all I am a foreigner living in a foreign place and I can always say I do not understand the language, if things get too hot to handle.

And the photo? That was not my fault, just a showdown in a big sky between a crow and a flash of lightening. I think that had something to do with a curse placed by a bloke called Lucifer that had a misunderstanding with the crow, although I did feel uncomfortable on my plane seat.


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Monday, 21 April 2014

WordPress Daily Prompt: Because The Night

Are you a night owl or are you the early bird? What’s your most productive time of day? When do you do your best work?



Somewhere in France


The view from a plane over the farm lands of France – actually it was daytime, but you can do everything with a little touch of photoshop today.
It all depends on me, my mood, my current occupation, my state of mind. What’s work?

There was a time when life required duties to be carried out and completed. A company would not wait for me to arise in the morning, I had no choice. Be there and do it were the orders of the day. This accompanied with family organisation, multi-tasking was required. Was I a night owl or early bird? I was that what life required of me. I am not going to boast about being an early morning creation. I love my bed, soaking up the confinement of the sheets, resting my weary head on a pillow and then it happens. Somewhere in a distant place a bell rings, a siren, an explosion. My brain cells begin to tick, habit forming takes over and I leave my bed for a place called work. This was in the far gone days before I became a golden oldie.

Whether I was productive at this time, I am not sure. There were times when my head began to nod at my desk, generally after lunch. Something was missing in my life, perhaps the two hours that had been stolen in the early morning hours by the sound of the alarm clock. Perhaps I should have retired to bed an hour earlier to remain fresh and awake during the daylight hours.

I should have been a vampire. They have such a quiet life, sleeping the daylight hours away in a coffin, a coma similar sleep, drifting amongst the memories of the ghouls and undead, never growing older. My teenage beauty and charm would have been preserved forever. Problems do not exist with an alarm clock, they depend on nature: the rising of the moon. Oh what a life, no need to sit in an office during the day and pass the time carrying out orders. One vampire problem is a fresh supply of blood. If you are lucky your midnight flight will take you near to a blood bank and then the problems are solved. The blood is clean and pure, all tested for some sort of human diseases which might occur. Vampires do not have an easy life today: unprotected game roaming the street in the dark hours of the night is subject to an unhealthy style of life. There might be addicts, alcohol or drugs and no self-respecting vampire wants to become high after a refreshing drink from a welcome neck. It would disturb the diurnal activity of sleep (diurnal=daylight – found it in Internet). A vampire with insomnia is an unhappy vampire. Sun rays might alight on the vampire suffering from insomnia during the day and that would be fatal. We all know the sad end of Dracula – he was stabbed in the heart, although had he suffered from a sleepless day the sun’s rays would have done their work, and his body would have become a pile of dust, swept away to the next dustbin.

However, I am not a vampire up to now. There are a few strange bats flying around in the area where I live, no reports of vampire bites or of undead walking in my garden.

There is a remark about productivity in the daily prompt title. Today I just produce a clean apartment, cooked food and a daily prompt. That is the story of my life. During the night I sleep, although there are times when a full moon appears and …….. Ask my felines, they sometimes accompany me.


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Sunday, 20 April 2014

WordPress Daily Prompt: Dust In the Wind

Have you made your bucket list? Now’s the time — write about the things you want to do and see before you become dust in the wind.



Bleeding Heart


What a happy title for a prompt, makes you really feel new born and full of life.

This bleeding heart plant was dust in the wind. I never planted it, it just arrived many years ago. My neighbour had one a few gardens down the line. It was end of March/beginning April when some unknown leaves began to grow in the garden. Had I been attacked by a Triffid?

Triffids were an science fiction figment of the autor John Wyndham’s imagination and the book was a success. The Day of the Triffids. The Triffids began to grow in the garden, in the fields, everywhere until they were mature enough to pull up their roots and walk, or something like that. As my mysterious plant remained where it was I realised I was not under attack by a virus and so I let is grow and develop. Eventually it flowered and I was happy. It flowered in the wrong place, in the wrong garden, so when it had finished its flowering days, I gently dug it up and shifted it to somewhere suitable. It seemed to resent this move and I felt a distinct tugging on the roots and heard a plantiff scream. I wiped the blood away from the scratchand bite on my hands.

This was many years ago. My bleeding heart began to bleed again and sent its seeds into the wind once more, a little further down the garden. This time the wind had spread the dust of the seeds in a definitely wrong place, amongst the branches of the hedge. At the moment full in flower, but it will again be moved in a flower bed next to a miniature rose bush I have. I told the plant of the impending move, but he said nothing, so it seems to be OK with him or her.

By the way, did I mention that we have had this prompt before in many disguises? Here is a link to the last one I wrote.

Kick The Bucket

However, no problem, we will probably get it again this year. These bucket lists are all over the place. I have written my obituary and held my Eulogy many times in WordPress. Do they have a death wish? Will I be found at my computer, killed by an electric impulse caused by logging into my WordPress site? Now I know why they keep asking me to do a two-step authentication. They want to be sure that there will be no mistakes when I go and that they make the right choice with the name and password. I really think I should stop making remarks on the “The Daily Post Has a Great New Look” posting or refrain from making verbal attacks in the Forum about the missing Pingback link.

Yes they can be ruthless with their random attacks. Perhaps we should now take a two minute silence in remembrance of the Pingbacks which have now made a transtition into the dust in the cyber wind, never to be seen again, unless we all club together and all put it as No. 1 position on our bucket list “Bring Back the Pingbacks”. When I think of the new bloggers, people that have recently joined the fold, that have never known the sensation of pingbacking, making a connection to other bloggers and dropping a calling card I feel sad to my very heart (yes I have one).

But enough of this dismal prompt on Easter Sunday. Did you find your Easter eggs, did the Easter bunny call by and shower you with chocolate goodies? He left me out this year or I was probably sleeping recovering from the antics of Saturday evening (see my last Daily Prompt blog). I found a half-eaten chocolate egg in the fridge. Someone had already eaten the chocolates inside the egg. “What did you say Mr. Swiss? It was me, I ate them yesterday.” Terrible the tricks the memory plays on you when you approach the bucket list age. Today we feasted on lamb racks, soaked in a garlic rosemary seasoning and accompanied by pommes de terre sautées and macédoine de legumes – is more refined in French, much better than fried potatoes and mixed veg.

I will now go. As I have survived this daily prompt, I might even attempt a try at another bucket list, although I think I have done it all. Of course my fiery night with Brad Pitt never occurred, but who needs Brad Pitt.

See you all tomorrow with a new, enterprising daily prompt. I am so excited, I cannot wait for the next grid with new and exciting suggestions to write about. 


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Saturday, 19 April 2014

WordPress Daily Prompt: Golden Oldie Satuday Night

S-A-T-U-R-D-A-Y NIGHT! What’s your favorite way to spend Saturday night?



A naked chicken


Saturday Night when your can cast everything aside, forget the seriousness of life and be natural, do what you want to do with no consideration to the others. Here we have a naked chicken; somewhere in his short life he even lost his head. I might cook a roast chicken for the evening meal on Saturday evening, accompanied with a light green salad and potato chips. The chicken is usually spiced up a bit with some paprika and the Swiss national seasoning known as Aromat, just to complete the meal.

What could be so special on Saturday night for a golden oldie like me? Sometimes I have to look at the calendar to see what day it is, my week-ends no longer being encircled with a red felt pen, showing the day of freedom for the working class. I still belong to the working class, as my relationship to the British monarchy seemed to have become misplaced over the years, but I am no longer employed. I am now registered as a senior citizen. My monthly wages are paid by the Swiss State with a little bit from the British State and I am now unprotected game. I can do what I want and when I want. Unfortunately my limbs are no longer supple enough for an evening at the dance hall and late night parties are a thing of the past. I fall asleep as soon as the clock strikes 11and my feet are now encased in sensible flat Adidas or felt slippers.

How can I celebrate my Saturday evening, take advantage of the enjoyments left for the end of the week? It all begins on Saturday morning, realising that today there is nothing special to clean or organise at home, it was all dealt with during the week. I begin the day with my breakfast accompanied by the computer with its details of what has been happening in my little corner of the cyberworld. I catch up with daily prompts from all over the world, although this is now a five minute job. It used to be a half hour job until they banned the Pingbacks. I know, I say no more, it would get on my nerves as well, always reading the same complaining drivel that I write.

Now to progress to the apartment: a quick clean through, removing the remainders of the night before and a visit to the shower. In the meanwhile Mr. Swiss has not been idle; he has caught up on his various computer events and is ready to depart into the wild world of last minute shopping coupled with a coffee in a local street café. Today he was not such a happy bunny when he arrived home, it was Easter Saturday. The shops were crowded with people hunting for food and he was under the impression that famine would soon break out. Actually I though the idea of Lent was to go hungry and remind yourself that food was not everything: something to do with 40 days and 40 nights.

After lunch we both had a golden oldie rest and now I am awake and ready to go, preparing myself for the Saturday evening. We decided to spare a life today as our offering for Easter, and I will not be roasting a chicken. It will be vegetarian as it is now the asparagus season and to celebrate I have 2 kilo of white asparagus and 1 kilo of green asparagus, coupled with a sauce hollandaise and garnished with smoked and natural ham. Oh the delights of the asparagus season!

The real debauchery begins in the evening: even if you on the wrong side of 60 you can still have fun. I indulge in a plate of ice cream covered with a generous coating of whipped cream and afterwards might follow it up with a glass of cola. As I am actually diabetic, this is a real treat, defying the lack of insulin in my luxury body. What a way to enjoy a Saturday evening, the peak of fun and high life. This is probably accompanied with a good book, or one of those never to be forgotten Bruce Willis/Tom Cruise films, although my film tastes usually go in the direction of vampires, ghosts and ghouls accompanied with a little bit of chain saw and hatchets. Of course, there is always a danger that I might fall asleep whilst the film is running.

After this exciting and exhausting evening of pleasure and letting my hair down (which is cropped to a few centimetres) I retire to bed, tired but happy. Oh, the Saturday evenings of a golden oldie are beyond comparison. 


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Friday, 18 April 2014

WordPress Daily Prompt: Take a Chance on Me

What’s the biggest chance you ever took? Did it work out? Do tell!



Stairwell


No this is not a photo of my brain showing its complexities, turns and angles of decisions and thoughts, it is a view of part of the staircase in our apartment block. I walk pass the metal joints many times during the day and on one of my excursions to my washing room in the cellar in the evening I took my super DSLR camera and made a photo, again hoping for a Pulitzer photo prize: another disappointment in my life. The chance I took here was actually being able to take the photo without stumbling on the stairs and breaking a leg.

Life is full of risks, especially if you are me and blog. They just hit you out of the blue. Everything seems to be taking its normal path, nicely going along at the golden oldie pace of time and then, bang!!! This week there were a few bangs. I had an emergency trip to the doctors last week, thinking I was on my last legs and it was just a normal little stress situation. It seems I had been overdoing it lately, like visiting Dad in England, getting him settled in his new home, buying him a micro wave and settee and a general upheaval in my nice little daily routine. I have now recovered after finding room in my tablet taking plan to fit a couple more in and it seems to have worked.

Just as things were evening out and I was back in the old routine it happened again, but this time it was a crash bang. My daily prompt did not arrive in the usual place  and the usual time, although this was completely my own fault. I did not understand the new great look that the WordPress people have given us. After a few words of dispute and some remarks, this misunderstanding was ironed out and I have again found my little nook and cranny in this wonder world of blog. It was my own fault for being so obstinate. I should have shown more understanding for the situation. The good old familiar looking prompts are still there, a sort of déja vu thing with the titles, but with my daredevil way of dealing with the unexpected, I have survived and am still here. I have decided to take it easy and swallow it all, come what may. After all I am paying for this blog, the price of being a .com person and hoping for a little mention in the Pulitzer Hall of Fame.

My first risk seems was being born. Mum was so surprised and shocked that she immediately decided she would not do a repeat experiment. I remained the one and only, growing up all on my own, no brothers or sisters to play with, just a budgerigar called Bill that arrived a few years later. He was not the best conversationalist, his vocabulary mainly consisting of the words “Pretty Bill”. He was a very conceited budgerigar, but he was all I had. He would spend hours looking into a mirror pecking at his reflection, admiring his yellow-green feathers and repeating the only budgie words in his language “Pretty Bill”.

Perhaps moving to Switzerland at the age of twenty could be looked upon as taking a chance, although I found it to be more a change of scenery, language and doing my own thing. Yes, this budgerigar person flew the nest and was on her own making her own decisions and not having to do what the others wanted or expected. We all learn by our mistakes and I made a few, but am not going to indulge in regrets or tell you about them. Je ne regrette rien, and if I told you about them 50 shades of something would have looked like a choirboy in comparison. Perhaps I should not have begun the daily prompt. It grows on you like an ivy, entwining its leaves into the very nucleus of your computer and you almost become addicted.

Today is Good Friday, although I have not yet found anything good about it. I had spent most of the week shopping and organising life as the shops are now closed until next Tuesday, with the exception of Saturday. Saturday is the day when Mr. Swiss is let out to do the shopping and who am I to interfere? The cupboard and fridge are now full. This morning I was recovering from the pre-Easter stress and am glad to say that no-one has invited me anywhere, I have not invited anyone to lunch or dinner and I am looking forward to an Easter hibernation until next Tuesday. For those that have something planned for Easter, happy Easter, and for the others, take it easy. And now to perform the one and only Pingback that remains, MINE.


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